‘Why do so many Jum’uah speakers discuss irrelevant topics instead of addressing current issues affecting Ummah?’ 

I often wonder why young boys would rather hang out with their peers outside the mosque or twiddle with their mobiles whilst the pre-khutba sermon is being delivered during Jumu’ah.

I decided to find out – and it has nothing to do with parental supervision by the way.

Wait a minute, I too experienced that in my puppy days and I know why. But that’s another matter.

I have chatted to a few individuals and what they shared wasn’t surprising. In my musjid, I have never heard speakers engage with the worshippers on contemporary issues affecting the community. I have expressed my concerns with the authorities in charge.

I am talking here about the pre-khutba lectures where guests are invited to address worshippers. I found it deeply offensive and worrying.

For instance, during and in the aftermath of the July 12, 2021 attempted coup (dubbed by a somnolent, alternatively captured government as an ‘insurrection’) or during the recent devastating floods of biblical proportions, we had speakers talking about irrelevant topic or subjects or events that occurred or impacted on the remote Muslim world centuries ago.

And then, most annoying was when these speakers engaged in what I refer to as ‘sing-a-longs’ whilst we have a country literally drowning or in deep distress. I confess, I doze off during that period.

During the run up to the 2021 local government elections, I never heard any speaker address my musjid and share knowledge on the necessity of every musallee who qualified to vote and participate in the elections or in the political dispensation, about why they should, firstly, register as voters and then vote.

The statistics speak loudly when one compares the irreconcilable number of qualifying Muslims with those who actually voted. Check it out. SA is facing an existential crisis whilst we have people who have the capacity to change and influence minds.

This keeps young minds outside the Musjid thereby relegating the Jumu’ah Salah into a ritual like ticking the box to be counted as a ‘good’ Muslim because of its obligatory nature.

Islam in SA is on life-support with the ummah being shredded. Like humpty-dumpty, it’s fallen off it’ once hallowed pedestal and the longer it takes for the authorities in musjids and Islamic institutions to remedy that, the ummah will crumble to fine dust.

So now you know why or possibly why attendance in musjids is dropping.

I know and I am aware of a few musjids that invite speakers who engage with worshippers regarding contemporary issues but, I dare say, these are few and far apart and often frowned upon by the orthodoxy.

Saber Ahmed Jazbhay

Human Rights Lawyer

Durban

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